Chip DeGrace Director, Design Purpose, Interface, Inc.
As Director of Design Purpose,Chip’s gig is to remind the Interface collective that we are all designers. Designers of the coolest flooring on the earth, but also of a model for industry that more mimics nature. He is the longest tenured designer at Interface, successfully practicing in the disciplines of product, applications, communications, sustainability and the built space. His broad experience in executing Interface’s integrated approach to design has given him unique abilities to participate across disciplines.He is focused on amplifying an understanding of the power of the built space to support the health and well-being of its users and the urgent role it plays in the draw down of atmospheric carbon. His experience in cross disciplinary design execution gives him practical experience on not only the “what” of effective and responsible workplace but the “how”. He is an acknowledged content expert around the contribution of our products and services in the creation of Positive Spaces and state of the art Workplace.Chip joined Interface in 1989 and has since held a number of design and leadership positions involving Interface’s creative design and brand, most recently as Chief Design Officer. Prior to that,he was Executive Creative Director for global brand creative and Vice President Creative for Interface’s consumer brand, FLOR. Before becoming part of the team that launched FLOR in 2003, Chip served as Vice President of Creative Strategies and Director of Brand Management for the Interface commercial brand. Prior to joining Interface, he worked as a designer in the cross disciplinary studio Designbridge and as a commercial interior designer fo rthe Chicago based firms The Environments Group and ISD in Chicago.Chip has a BFA from Northern Illinois University. He served as Industry Representative on the National Board of Directors of The ASID from 2004–2006, and was elected as an Honorary Fellow for his work. He lives in Northern Michigan with his wife Cynthia and his three sons.Chip engages with Interface’s most strategic end-use corporate accounts and the principle A/D firms that service them.
Prutha Raithatha, founder and principal of Prutha Raithatha Design is an Indian born-NYC designer with17 years of experience in corporate, hospitality and residential interior design. Her work has been published in numerous publications and has been recognized for her eclectic style. Prutha’s work explores the idea of twisting the details to unfit the perfectly expected logical design to create moments of surprise. Mudding the genres of modern, vintage and graphic and creating compelling storylines for each project forms the template for her design. Prutha received her academic training in Architecture from University of Mumbai and has a Master’s in Sustainable design from Carnegie Mellon University. Some of the clients she has worked with during her time at other large NYC firms include Bustle, LinkedIn, Convene, MSG (Tao Group), to name a few.
Shay Lam, Managing Executive/ Studio Creative Director
Shay joined TPG in 2016 and has 25 years of experience in architecture, interiors & planning industry, focusing on Hospitality, Residential and Workplace. Strong media and communication professional graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and San Francisco Art Institute. As the leader of TPG’s Hospitality Studio, Shay focuses his practice on authentic placemaking and enhancing the guest experience. He has been involved in projects across the sectors of creative workplace, coworking, food and beverage, hotel, and retail. Some of his notable clients include Booking.com, Moët Hennessy, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and Nusr-Et Group. Previously led design efforts at WeWork for WeLive, at Perkins Eastman Architects for Residential and Hospitality Interior Design, and is an alumnus of Tonychi and Associates in New York and Tamotsu Yagi Design in California. Shay is an avid cook who is always hungry.
Professional Instagram:@tpgarchitecture / Personal Instagram:@warrenpeece
Gable Clarke, IIDA, LEED® AP President, Interior Design
An equal majority owner of SGA, Gable leads the firm’s interior design practice and HR department. She cultivates strong client relationships while mentoring staff members and guiding them to success. Over the course of her 20+ year career, she has developed a reputation as an ambassador for the industry and a nurturer of talent.Gable excels in establishing trust with clients and in facilitating communication between all stakeholders on each project. These efforts pave the way to a consensus on design direction that ultimately results in the transformation of spaces into inspiring, purpose-driven environments. Gable’s focus on trust and communication informs internal SGA efforts as she spearheads numerous HR initiatives to enhance SGA’s culture and promote employee engagement and retention.In recent years Gable has continued to receive prestigious honors, such as the Leadership Award of Excellence from IIDA New England and inclusion in the Boston Real Estate Times’ list of 10 Outstanding Women in Commercial Real Estate.Furthermore, the growth of SGA’s interior design practice under her supervision led to the firm’s designation as one of Interior Design’s 2022 Top 100 Giants of Design.Gable holds a Master of Science in Interior Design from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Milligan College in Tennessee.Outside of the office, Gable serves on CoreNet New England’s education and awards committees as well as on the Women’s Breakfast committee for Horizons for Homeless Children.She loves to spend time with her husband, son and daughter, volunteer, travel, and take piano lessons with her kids.She confesses that her kids are “lapping”her, but she nevertheless remains diligent about practicing.
Ji-yong Sung, JCJ Architects
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ji-yong Sung is a design principal in JCJ Architecture. With 30+ years of experience, Ji-yong has created many of JCJ’s most significant designs during his time with the firm. With experience in multiple market sectors, Ji-yong is able to successfully translate the Owner’s vision into creative design solutions that are both responsible and innovative. His focus has been creating remarkable designs as meeting the requirements of any budget and schedule. As a hospitality design leader in JCJ, he is currently working on numerous hospitality projects including renowned casinos, hotels, restaurants, & event venues nationally.
Paul Lewandowski, IIDA, AIA, Paul Designs Project, Founding Principal
Paul is the founder of Paul Designs Project, an architecture and interior design firm located in Portland, ME. His current projects are throughout New England and New York state.He has over twenty-five years of professional experience and his skill and passion for design has led to many successful projects in residential and commercial design internationally.Paul has spoken at many national conferences and has been a Best-of Neocon judge for almost 10 years. He has served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Maine College of Art. Paul Lives in Portland, Maine.
On Instagram @iidanedesignawards, #IIDANEDA